Thursday, October 8, 2009
I have found the secret to maternal serenity, and it can be found in the candy aisle at your local grocery.
Who'da thunk the key to living calmly with children under the age of 35 was a small, chocolate-based treat I had always known and loved? M&M Mars has created the source of all familial goodness and light, but they don't tout it in their advertisements, which seems a real shame, since I'm sure their stock prices would go through the roof if this caught on. (Dear M&M Mars, if the afore-mentioned scenario DOES take place, I'm staking my claim to a share of the profits now. I'll call you with details later.)
Here's the scoop: I have always understood the link between M&Ms and enhanced performance. In college, my standard procedure for taking tests was to run to the bookstore, purchase a half-pound bag of M&Ms--any variety, but my preference was for peanut butter--and consume the whole bag in the hour before the test, while sitting in the hall outside the classroom and reciting the mantra, "You can do this and you'd better do well, because if you don't you'll look like a big fat idiot. SO DON'T SCREW UP!" On the occasions when I followed this pattern(which increased in frequency as I noticed the correlation between M&M consumption and test-taking success), I never earned below a B+. Seriously. I owe my grade-point average (but not my current weight--that's a separate issue) to the candy aisle of the BYU Bookstore.
I had no idea a similar magic could work on my children. But it does.
Every morning I dole out ten magic candy-coated pellets into each egg cup--one per child, because anything else would be illogical, and motherhood is all about logic. And temporary insanity. Throughout the day, as those same egg-cup-claiming children act up or misbehave or induce me to rip out large chunks of bodily hair (mine, typically), I remove one M&M from the offending child's egg cup and eat it. Notice I take only one M&M per offense. I try not to abuse the system. I might extend the punishment to two, maybe, if the breach is particularly heinous. (Like leaving your underwear in the family room after being asked THREE TIMES to put them away. That's a major--and unfortunately, daily--offense in this house. I'm just telling you in the interests of warning an innocent public: should you visit, please do not look too closely under couches, if you know what I mean.) In this manner, the child is warned and punished and learns to feel the disappointing effects of disobedience. (Doesn't that sound wonderfully gospel-related? I'm working on it.) and I get a small taste of heaven to soothe my ruffled temper. At the end of the day, children who have not sent their mother permnently around the bend get the remaining M&Ms for dessert. Call it a win-win situation. At least on most days. I can imagine a truly horrible day when the children drive me to the utter edge of sanity and back multiple times, and I might on such an occassion end up eating all their M&Ms and then finish up the bag for a final shame-inducing encore, thereby creating a win-win-"Oh dear goodness, how am I going to lose all this weight" situation. But that one is safely still in the future. So far.
And there you have it; all your maternal frustrations and discipline problems solved in one easy formula: M&Ms = parental sanity + improved offspring obedience (and excellent test-taking skills).
Remember, you heard it here first. (I may be asking you to testify if the whole intellectual-rights infringement thing goes awry.)
Thursday, October 1, 2009
A few scenes from our Robot Day festivities
Yeah, I know red lights are the appropriate decoration, but I haven't hit the after-Robot-Day sales yet. Plus it was six-thirty, and I wasn't going to do more storage-room diving than absolutely necessary to make my son's dreams come true.
The construction of the traditional Robot Day costume--a nice twist added by Roberto at six thirty-two this morning. I suspect that next year's costume may be slightly more elaborate.
The wearing of the robot costume
Another Robot Day entertainment: watching one's baby getting a buzz from gnawing on the traditional red lights' cord. (Please let it be known that I did not take a picture while said baby was in imminent danger. The child has no teeth. It would take him a year to gnaw into anything that could zap-fry him. And by then he probably would have lost interest.)